It seems as though there are some limits that China is unable to cross on the path to becoming more Westernized. China has already built an impressive army, drawn several major corporations to its borders, and established a platform for unprecedented economic growth. However, the world’s most populated country has been slow to fully adopt gambling and casinos, unlike most modern countries. Gambling is only legal in Macau a major gaming destination, the rest of the country outlaws it completely.
Not only is gambling not catching on in mainland China, but it’s also actually losing revenue. Over the past month, the gaming industry has seen a steep 40% decrease in revenue which some consider to be good news. How is the loss of 21.5 billion Renminbi or Chinese Yuan by the world’s largest gambling good? To some, it seems to have hit the floor, which implies that the market is stabilizing.
There are a number of issues that contribute to Macau Casinos experiencing their lowest revenue in four years. First, the Chinese president Xi Jinping has instituted a three-year graft crackdown. This has deterred the big spenders from visiting Casinos in Macau which is the only place in the entire country with legalized gambling. For ten straight months, China’s gaming sector has lost revenue, and the future of gambling in China seems uncertain.
The locals want the province to be a tourist attraction, not one known strictly for its gambling. It’s important to remember that the Chinese culture is one of moderation and discipline. The thought of any place in their beloved homeland becoming like Las Vegas isn’t going to sit well with many Chinese residents, especially the more religious ones.
China WILL one day become the world’s largest economy, but very little of that money will be generated by legalizing gambling in my opinion. It is possible that the government would consider reinvesting money back into Macau in hopes that it will payback, but tier deep religious beliefs, Xi Jinping’s want to diversify what Macau already has, and their otherwise strong economy makes it seem like an unlikely choice.